Marusho Kimono Shop: Honouring Tradition with Japandi Sensibilities

Table Talks
June 16, 2021
Wilfrid Chan

To mark important milestones in Japan, women will often wear special clothes referred to as Haregi or ‘your Sunday’s best’. Marusho Kimono Shop is a long-established Kimono rental store in Yokohama, with a mission of handing down traditional Japanese culture through Haregi. People often wear Kimono's for weddings, summer festivals funerals and for ceremonial occasions. The space was designed by TSUTSUMI & ASSOCIATES, giving focus to the extensive options available through a simple and consistent layout.


The height of every fixture is kept to 1.8 m in order to open up the shop and reduce any feeling of cramped space. The abundant use of light wood and minimal fixtures perfectly encapsulates the japandi interior aesthetic.


The store features small partitioned rooms towards the back, allowing customers to view garments in detail and discuss their requirements. A thin lattice partition creates a small division in space without closing it off entirely, making the room feel light and airy. Different Kumiko pattern works adorn each door, adding a subtle variation in texture. The detail and craftsmanship demonstrated here is both flawless and poised. Each room has its own name, fitted with handcrafted kutani ware signage, a traditional Japanese style of porcelain making from the 17th century.


A large column sits in the centre, crafted with rammed earth; it has an impactful presence that harmonizes with the Japanese-style space. It is a pillar of stone in a sea of crafted wood, creating some contrast without too much distraction, everything here is balanced.


The most remarkable design sits above, covering the ceiling are thin wooden panels which create different waves of height throughout the store. This idea is inspired by the traditional manner of layering Kimonos called Kasane. It gives a soft ebb and flow throughout the shop, which further creates an air of roominess. From ancient times until present day, the kimono is a cultural pillar in Japan, it is a way to reflect gratitude, respect, status and formality. The interior of the Marusho Kimono Shop lends itself to these principles, allowing the garments to become an intricate part of the space.

Interior Design: TSUTSUMI& ASSOCIATES (Yoshimasa Tsutsumi, Xiuxiu Hong)
Photography: Misae Hiromatsu / Ruijing Photo

Originally, "kimono" was the Japanese word for all clothing. However, over the years the word is now used to refer specifically to traditional Japanese clothing.